Exit Counseling provides important information regarding student loans and repayment. It must be completed each time a student drops below half-time status (6 credits), leaves school or graduates.
Things to know:
- Students will need a FSA ID to complete exit counseling.
- The session will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
- At the end, students will need to include contact information for references that a loan servicer can contact if they are unable to reach the borrower.
Complete Exit Counseling here.
Student loan repayment can seem overwhelming but it is important to understand the details of loan repayment to save both time and money. Remember, student loans are just like any other loans; they must be repaid. The resources below will help guide students through when repayment starts, how to make a payment, repayment plan options and what to do if they have trouble making payments.
Steps to Repayment
- Know what is owed
Visit the National Student Loan Data System to review the federal loans received and find out who the loan servicer is. The loan servicer is who loan payments will go to.
- Make the most of your Grace Period
Federal Direct loans have a 6-month grace period after graduation or dropping below six credits.
Federal Perkins loans have a 9-month grace period
Alternative loans may or may not have a grace period; be sure to check!
Things to do during your grace period:
- Pay interest to save money in the long run. Unpaid interest capitalizes on the loan once repayment begins.
- Set up your online account with your loan servicer. Be sure to keep your contact information up to date.
- Make on time payments. If payments ever become difficult, contact your loan servicer immediately! They will help you get back on track and avoid defaulting on your student loans.
- Select your repayment plan and plan for making the first payment!
There are many different federal loan repayment plans. Review all your options and choose the one that makes the most financial sense for you. Use the Repayment Estimator to see how your payments will look under the different options.
Details about the different repayment plans.
You can change your repayment plan at any time. Contact your loan servicer if you have any questions. They are there to work with you and help you determine the best repayment plan for you.
*If you borrowed Private Student Loans, please note that they are not federal loans, will not appear on NSLDS, and will not be repaid to your federal loan servicer. You must contact your private loan lender for repayment information.
Trouble making payments?
If you begin to have troubles making your loan payments, contact your servicer right away. They will help you find an option that will keep you out of credit trouble. For example, they may suggest you change your repayment plan to one that is based on your income. Other temporary relief options in times of financial hardship include deferment or forbearance or loan consolidation.
What happens if I don't make a student loan payment?
A loan is considered delinquent the first day after a payment is missed. You will remain delinquent on your student loans until all missed payments are made to bring your loans current. Loan servicers report all delinquencies of at least 90 days to the three major credit bureaus which can negatively impact your credit.
Your loan will go into default status if a payment has not been made in 270 days. The consequences of default are severe:
- Entire unpaid balance of your loan and any interest become due immediately
- Lost eligibility for deferment, forbearance, and repayment plans
- Lost eligibility for additional federal student aid
- Loans are assigned to a collection agency
- Damaged credit rating will impact ability to buy a car, house, or get a credit card
- IRS may withhold state and federal tax refunds
- Wage garnishment
- Will take years to recover from default and reestablish your credit